What is Big Data?

Big Data is a marketing term that describes the amount of data a business receives daily. You guessed it, it’s a lot. Big data can be organized or raw. What a business does with this data is the most important thing about it. Big data should be analyzed to show trends or other insights. A business can then use the results to see evidence of how a strategy is working, or to make new strategic decisions.

How Big Data works

  1. It’s a ton of information

    Big data is a whole big mass of information that a business must try to make sense of. The most important part of big data is that it is informative. Big Data is typically described in terms of volume, variety, velocity and veracity. Volume describes the amount of data. Variety explains the type of data, whether its numbers, audio or visual elements. Velocity explains how quickly the data is transmitted — much is available in realtime. Finally, veracity describes the quality of the data.

  2. It’s processed different ways

    Generally, the sets of data are so large that traditional filtering or processing mechanisms aren’t able to deal with them. It is up to the business to determine what the business wants to know, using the data, and the most fitting or efficient way to analyze it. Generally, Big Data is processed using algorithms or other analytic tools. This processing allows a business to draw conclusions from the data. It can be analyzed to show a trend, prove an effective strategy, or inform about a group of consumers or product.

  3. It’s constantly changing

    This relates to both the value and the challenges of Big Data. Each day, hour or minute, new data is flowing in. According to a 2011 book, ‘The World’s Technological Capacity to Store, Communicate, and Compute Information’, the world’s capacity to store information has doubled every 40 months, since the 80’s. Since the amount of data is always increasing, a business must be proactive in their efforts to capture and understand it. Incorporating that data will change outcomes and could suggest amending old strategies.

Why Big Data matters

  1. It’s used for analysis in many fields

    Big data has been increasingly tied to the all-star marketing buzzword ‘analytics’. Specifically, to predictive analytics and user behavior analytics. In marketing, Big Data allows companies to gain insights into their consumers, their own business and to highlight industry trends. But Big Data is important to any number of industries; it can help scientists fight disease, pinpoint criminally dangerous areas, show trends in sports and more. It is far more than just a marketing tool.

  2. It helps everyone

    You may not know it, but Big Data has probably helped you countless times in your life. As explained above, its used across industries to solve problems. This means, it has probably solved a problem for you. Big data has been used to optimize online shopping, help put ridesharing options in areas you need them and offering movies you will be most likely to want to watch on a plane ride. Big data helped the companies behind these services find the most popular options and offer them to you.

  3. It’s challenging

    Using Big Data effectively is one of the ways a business can distance itself from competition. There are many challenges that come with Big Data. Capturing it, storing it, analyzing it and sharing it are just a few. It is important that a business has a strategy for each challenge, to get the most out of their data. For example, if a business analyzes big data effectively but has no way to share it, they are losing out on value. If all are done effectively, a business is gaining a ton of insight — insight that some other businesses may not have.